Waters: Generalities, rhetoric about incumbents ‘don’t cut it’

A few weeks ago I was asked how I defined leadership when it comes to being a member of a city council.

A few weeks ago, during the early days of the current civic election campaign, I was asked how I defined leadership when it comes to being a member of a city council.

My answer was simple: Show up and make decisions.

Of course, depending on which side of the political fence you sit on, you may not like the decisions that are made. That’s fair enough. But elected officials should do what they were elected to do. Kelowna mayoral candidate Walter Gray is right when he says not making decisions in unacceptable.

But in this campaign there is a growing, albeit incorrect, perception that the current Kelowna council is indecisive. I don’t see it.

While many of the challengers looking to unseat incumbents are repeating the accusation, none are backing it up with examples.

The problem is, some don’t like the decisions council has made. And that’s what should be up for debate.

But getting back to the my rather simple definition of leadership, it appears to have struck a chord with at least one incumbent councillor.

Charlie Hodge must have been thinking along the same lines after he was targeted for replacement by a local group now backing four newcomers that it wants to see replace him, Angela Reid-Nagy, Michele Rule and Kevin Craig on council.

Hodge has been crunching the numbers and has come up with some figures showing he, Reid-Nagy, Rule and Craig have been showing up, in some cases more than their other five colleagues, four of whom the group says it is supporting.

Just like a good attendance record in school, it’s more important what you do while you are there than simply parking your butt in a seat. But as they used to say in lotto ads, if you’re not in, you can’t win. So there is something to be said for showing up.

It’s time those who are telling voters its time for a change explain why there’s the need, what will change and how their election will make a difference.

With a 40-candidate field, that’s a tall order and there are plenty of voters out there to reach.

There are issues this council needs to address and explanations needed for why it has acted in certain ways.

But generalities about change, rhetoric about “balancing” council and accusations about a lack of decision-making just don’t cut it.

Voters deserve more than that.

Alistair Waters is the Capital News’ assistant editor.





Just Posted

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Power out in West Kelowna

More than 1,500 West Kelowna residents are in the dark.

No Kelowna Rockets taken in 2018 NHL entry draft

NHL teams pass on three ranked players — Topping, Zabransky and Mattson

Boat for Hope back on Okanagan Lake

The Variety Children’s Charity pirate themed fundraiser returns to the waters off Kelowna

Inaugural ‘redeye’ to leave Kelowna for Toronto Saturday night

Introduction of overnight flight increases Air Canada’s Kelowna-Toronto service to twice a day

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Residents association plan gathering to discuss Pandosy waterfront park

KLO Neighbourhood Association has scheduled a public meeting with developers and city staff June 27

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

Cozy Bay to close

Summerland seafood restaurant’s lease will not be renewed

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

Reported stabbing in Lake Country

Police are believed to be investigating after a reported stabbing at a house party Friday night

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

Most Read